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Archives for : Toki Wartooth (Not A Bumblebee)

{Flock Updates} You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on animals

All the babies are growing at the usual quick pace, and I am continuing to fall in love with Syrax, Fin Fang Foom, and Mad Mim so much. Last night, Fin and Mim fell asleep on the back of my neck, in my hair, and Sy fell asleep in my hands (Arya planted herself on my legs so she wasn’t left out and Toki was just irritated that no one was adhering to his ridged schedule and sleeping in their designated areas). I’m pretty sure all three of the baby dragons are male; however, I still can’t tell 100% with Sy. We’ll have to wait for the shoulder feathers to grow out some more.

Damien seems to be slowing down on his need to breed and we haven’t had to separate him from the rest of the flock for a good string of days. I’m very thankful for this. All the info on peafowl that says they can stress themselves to death had me super worried that’s what was going to happen here. Maybe the hormones are weening back since breeding season is almost over or maybe it’s not worth it since the temps have been up in the 90s lately. It’s been hot enough that none of the birds came out to free range the other day because it wasn’t worth leaving the shade. Summertime in Colorado – a dry heat!

The good thing about the heat is that the birds eat less & I don’t have to buy food as often as I do in the winter. Which is good because I still haven’t gotten a solid job offer. I definitely feel like the minute I drop that I’m disabled, anyone interviewing me automatically DQ’s me for the job even though I’m only applying to jobs I know I can manage. It’s pretty disheartening. I have been adding more merch to the shops, but there’s been no activity since that fist month of having the Redbubble shop open. If I don’t hear anything by the end of the month as far as a job offer, I’m going to pull all the money I can from my retirement savings. It’s not ideal since that would automatically make me not qualify for the disability insurance PERA offers, but I’ve got bills to pay and animals to care for.

{Flock Updates} Name Changes and Expansions

Had some name changes and shuffles with the chicks and peas. Sometimes I’m pretty good at guessing personalities with the animals, and sometimes they prove me wrong and adjustments need to be made so they have a name that fits them. I wish it were that easy to do as a human.

Douma and Irving have had their names changed to Mumbles and One-Two (respectively) because watching them rough house with each other reminded me of Idris Elba and Gerard Butler in the movie RocknRolla. Yes, two more males for sure with these ones. One-Two, in the tradition of his lineage, has really amped up the attempted crowing in the mornings. He still sounds like a mechanical murder dinosaur and it cracks me up.

Mina is still Mina and definitely the only female to hatch from the chicken eggs. She isn’t very much like Sparta, personality wise. She’s very quiet and reserved. She doesn’t have the mohawk that seems to be a strong trait from Memnoch (both One-Two and Mumbles have one), so I’m thinking her sire might be Ronan.

The peachicks just had a slight name shuffle. Mim is now Fin and Fin is now Mim. I am so in love with these three. I think I mentioned this previously, but I didn’t expect them to be so different from the chicken chicks. With the chicks, you basically show them where the food and water is, how to dip there beaks in and eat and drink, and that’s pretty much all they want from you as long as they have other chicks in the brooder with them. Peachicks, on the other hand, imprint on you fast and heavy. They want you to hold them and cuddle them and it is just the most adorable thing on the planet. Fin was really complainy last night, so I took him out and put him on my chest while I rested my legs, and he just went right to sleep. Their wings are getting huge, for the most part. Mim still has some rumbled looking feathers from being in the egg so long and not being able to get out on her own. Syrax is getting some purple/black looking feathers coming in on her shoulders and wings. This was some validation that was almost 2 years in the making. The reason I stopped going to the peafowl section of the Backyardchickens.com boards was because a few of the users were trying to accuse the breeder I got Dalton and Richmond from of lying to me about what kind of peahens they were. The said there was no way Dalton could be a black shoulder (which she isn’t, she’s a spaulding purple black shoulder) and that there was no way Richmond could be a cameo (again, which she isn’t, she’s a spaulding cameo split pied). Anyhow, black shoulders start out looking like they’ll be all white as chicks until the darker feathers start coming in. Always someone that wants to be a know-it-all and try to shit on people they don’t even know.

Personality wise, they’re all very curious but hesitant when you take them out of the brooder. I got them outside in a rabbit cage that has a poop tray under it so they can’t touch the ground – apparently, they can’t touch the ground for the first few months. I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do with how susceptible they are to catching diseases and parasites. The temps are getting up to the 90s, so it was warm enough for them to be away from the brooder for a half an hour while I worked on the a-frames for the aviary expansion. The Hellblazers came up to check them out, but there’s something about them that all the animals seem to sense distinguishes them from chickens. I’m not sure if they smell different or what it is, but even the dogs seem to know they’re different from the chicks they’ve been watching grow for the past 2 years.

They’ve also already started to try flying around before they were even a week old. They’ve been making really amazing progress at it so far and it just amazes me how they just know how to do things like that and don’t need to be taught it. Having them hatch when they did, I’m glad I wasn’t still working for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and having to put up with their disability discrimination and harassment. If I were still having to put up with that and having a constant concussion migraine and cognitive fatigue and all the other symptoms my coworkers and manager made worse with their behavior, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them as much as I am right now. After this month, if I don’t find a job, I’ll be out of health insurance, bills will be difficult to cover, but I’m so glad I get to spend all day with them and my dogs and the other birds.

There has also been a boom in baby buns from the feral rabbits this spring. Charles Bronson (the rabbit that had been digging in and out of the main aviary) turned out to be a female and had a litter in a hole between the fence of the aviary and the peafowl’s greenhouse. They are the most diverse looking babies I’ve seen come out of all the feral rabbits so far. I wanted to keep the one I’m holding in that picture so much, but I put it back in the den with its siblings. There’s been at least 2 litters up near the house. One of the litters is a group of these rollie pollie rabbits that I’ve named Butterball, The Great Hambino, Chunk, and Albert. They are the most adorable bunnies.

{Flock Updates} Hope Springs Eternal

It’s been awhile since my last update here. 2016 was not a great or kind year for the animals and, unfortunately, the beginning of 2017 hasn’t been a great or kind year for me and things are about to get tougher.

While we haven’t had any deaths since Igor and his grandmothers, tensions between Mercury and Memnoch and everyone else have been getting high as the weather has been getting warmer. I was lucky enough to find 2 “rooster coops” on CL for free that I’m going to retrofit into a coop for the Demon Twins and a possible breeding coop or grow out coop. Another non-success was trying to integrate Ronan, Lucien, Epiphany, and Mazikeen with the rest of the flock. For some unknown reason, Richmond and Dalton refused to let them into the aviary/main pen and to make things less stressful on everyone (including me) I’ve kept them in the old rabbit pen for now. My eventual plan is to move that pen into the aviary so that everyone is in the same area and can see each other throughout the day when they aren’t out free ranging. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’m hoping to get the poles up for the heavier aviary netting soon. This will raise the clearance a few feet, allowing me to stand up straight and give the birds more headroom as well. After that, I’m going to rearrange the extra coops and covered pens so everyone is in one compound area.

The bad news for me, and by extension the animals, is the fact that I have finally gotten tired of silently putting up with the harassment/discrimination I’ve been dealing with at my Day Job since going back to it after the car wreck that left me with lifelong disabilities. Last month, I submitted my official grievance against my manager and most of my coworkers. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, HR is not taking their investigation of my claims seriously (they okay’d my manager to give me a year end job review while the investigation is still going on). While I still have to meet with HR tomorrow, I’ve already decided that I’m quitting because of the harassment, discrimination, and HR’s flippant response to it.

This means finances are going to get tight. I have been applying to jobs for the past 4-5 months, but the job market isn’t great and most people aren’t chomping at the bit to hire someone with disabilities. I’ll most likely have to apply for unemployment, try to apply for SSI, empty my retirement, and put my plans to finish my degree and build my house on hold indefinitely. Again. I just feel very defeated by all this and it’s left me wondering why I survived that car wreck if this was going to be my life after it.

The only thing that’s been keeping my spirits up have been the animals – Toki and Arya are constant mood boosters, watching the birds thrive (Damien has gotten a massive train and Richmond let him breed with her at least once!). I had started incubating chicken eggs and had agreed to take in a straight run of Olandsk Dwarfs prior to my Day Job environment degrading as badly as it has, so baby chicks and possible baby PEAchicks are something to look forward to.

I’ve also been creating art of the animals to sell. Right now, there are various different products available on the Redbubble store (more on that in the next update) that are specific to the animals. I haven’t gotten everyone on a product, yet. I am working on it as much as I can between my school work. Speaking of school work, one of the classes I’m taking is a bookmaking class and I’m hoping to make a number of books about the animals in the near future.

Right now, the animals are still thriving and I’m doing my best to keep it that way.

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{Photo of the Day}18.09.2016

Slowly but surely, Ronan is regrowing all the feathers he lost in the skunk attack.

{Photo of the Day} 16.09.2016

{Photo of the Day} 13.09.2016

{Photo of the Day} 10.09.2016

{Flock Updates} Toki’s Tummy Troubles, Pt. 2

We are heading back into the ER vet in an hour. I called to ask about the side effects for the meds they put him on (Metronidazole) because he hasn’t had a bowel movement since the bloody diarrhea stopped on Thursday. He’s started eating more, being more active (but not overdoing it), he’s urinating with no issues, and he hasn’t started puking again. I was told by whoever answered the phone at the vet that the side effect for that med is upset stomach (which confused me as to why you’d give that for a dog who is already suffering from upset stomach). I was told I needed to come in today.

I had to apply for CareCredit, since they don’t do payment plans and I don’t get paid again until the 31st, so I could pay for another visit. I don’t know what to expect, but I will do anything to make sure this dog walks out of that building with a good prognoses. I don’t care what I have to do.

UPDATE

Well, we didn’t need to go to the ER and that receptionist had me in tears for no reason. When we saw the ER vet, she was super nice and went through all the motions again, took a fecal sample, checked gums, temp, etc. She told me that Toki probably just hadn’t had enough to eat since his mass internal evacuation on Thursday to form a bowel movement. She also didn’t charge me for the visit since the receptionist could have told me this over the phone. The visit wasn’t a total waste of time since I did get confirmation he was okay and I got some of the i/d Sensitive Stomach food, both wet and dry, to try to get things going again for him. When he gets at least 2 decent poops out, I can slowly start getting him back on the regular dog food.

I didn’t even need to use the CareCredit.

{Photo of the Day} 13.08.2016

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Got Toki to eat some scrambled eggs (thank you, hens!). It wasn’t difficult to get Arya to eat them, too.

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Mickey and Coco Puff reminded me of the Great Riddle Gate sphinxes from The Neverending Story.

“The Childlike Empress is sick,
And with her Fantastica will die.
The Nothing will swallow this place,
It will perish and so will I.
We shall vanish into the Nowhere and Never,
As though we had never been.
The Empress needs a new name
To make her well again.”

The Neverending Story, pg. 100

{Flock Update} Toki’s Tummy Troubles

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All day yesterday, Toki was like that guy who get super extra drunk at parties (vomit and diarrhea all over, all day). In the (almost) 6 years of living together with him, we’ve gotten the hang of what and how much of something he can eat because he has a very sensitive stomach. This time around, though, his symptoms weren’t anything like what we’ve had to deal with in the past and it got me really worried. Blood in diarrhea, I think, is something worth getting worried over. So, I took him into the vet for an emergency visit to make sure he didn’t have something more than a bad reaction to something he shouldn’t have eaten going on.

Things didn’t go that smoothly. First off, we get to the vet and find out the receptionist from the night before didn’t schedule us for the emergency visit like she said she was. Thankfully, the day shift was nice enough to squeeze me in anyway (they actually had to turn someone away while Toki and I were waiting because they were so backed up). So, we’re waiting in the waiting room and Toki is very much like me. He’s asocial with both other dogs and humans, and he is especially distrusting of men. What can I say? Either I rubbed off on him or we were just a perfect match. Or both. Anyhow, so I’m nervous about what could be wrong with him and which vet we’re going to get for the visit since you get whichever doctor is on call for emergency rounds that day. Again, like me, he’s not cool with strangers touching him and we’ve been lucky enough to have the same vet since I adopted him and didn’t know what to do with a tiny puppy with kennel cough.

He’s not feeling well at all, he hates being in the waiting room for the vet, I’m giving off waves of anxiety like those ladies in offices that wear too much perfume, and it was a bad combination. That’s when this douchebag with his obnoxious kid come in. Oh, and Toki *really* doesn’t like kids thanks to our neighbor’s obnoxious granddaughter. They don’t know why they’re bringing their dog in for a visit, but once they call the mom to square things out, they make a beeline to where we’re sitting.

I haven’t stood up and moved as fast as I did then since the car accident. That when the douchebag dude says, “You’re okay”. Like, first off, I know *I’m* okay because I’m not the one here for a doctor to check me out. Secondly, you can see my dog is clearly stressed out and you’re kid has been trying to crowd him the entire time. Thirdly, you’re a dick. I just flatly respond, “Yeah, well, he’s not okay”. Didn’t. Sink. In. At. All.

Why are people so obnoxious.

Anyhow, after that, a very nice and understanding vet tech moved us into a room to wait. Once the doctor got in to see Toki, she seemed pretty sure it was just something he eat that didn’t agree with him. His gums still looked good (which I had been checking the night before thanks to Dr. Pol and his show), he had a good heart rate, breathing, temperature was within normal range, everything looked good except he was dehydrated. Which was understandable. They took him to get fluids and an anti-nausea med and took fecal samples (where they found blood – I didn’t know until we got home that he actually had been having bloody diarrhea the day before). We got out of there $200+ lighter and headed home with an anti-inflammatory med for him to take twice daily for about a week. Hopefully by then, he’ll have gotten back to his normal self.

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Arya would really like him to get back to himself soon. She’s been using the giant Pound Puppy squeaker rug as a surrogate to him at night and she’s frustrated she doesn’t have anyone to play with (Winston and Zelda don’t get how to play with her, they play like all dogs are their size).

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By the afternoon, he was at least up and walking around and eating a little big. He even came outside to help me let the birds out to free range. By 6PM, he hadn’t puked in 24 hours. I’m hoping this is a good sign and not a fake out because I’m still not sure what he ate that would have set his insides off like this. The only “new” thing he’s had access to are rabbit poops now that I’ve been working on getting him used to being around rabbits and birds without chasing them. He does get sick if he eats too much horse poops (what is it with dogs eating poops), so I guess it could have been that. I’m usually like helicopter mom with a kid who has food allergies when it comes to him and the not knowing what it was is not something I like being an unknown.

He is getting better, though, and that’s what I have to get my brain to focus on right now.